Transport policy is a central policy of the European Commission with the aim of enabling the smooth and sustainable mobility of people and goods. The most important cornerstones of European transport policy are:
- The Transport White Paper - targets for mobility in Europe
- The TEN-T guidelines - priority infrastructure projects on road, rail and waterway for the development of the trans-European transport network
The European inland navigation policy is an integral part of transport policy and is dictated by the NAIADES Action Programme of the European Commission. It was launched in 2006 with the promotion of inland waterway transport in Europe as its objective. With the implementation of NAIADES II in 2014, the programme of measures to further improve the quality of inland waterway is continuing. There are many reasons for the increased use of inland waterways: low energy consumption, low CO2 emissions, low external costs, ample spare capacity and low transport costs.
NAIADES and NAIADES II are important steps in the effort to fully exploit the market potential of inland navigation. They combine legislative, coordinative and supportive actions, and focus on five strategic areas: market, fleet, staff, image and infrastructure. The NAIADES action programmes provide not only the member states, but also the EU itself with guidelines for a common approach to strengthen the shipping industry. The implementation of the current action program NAIADES II is supported and coordinated by the viadonau platform PLATINA 2.